Friday, March 11, 2011

Needles and Ultrasound and Sever's Disease - Oh My!

I know I haven't written in awhile - sorry, been busy trying to figuring out how to cut off my foot and grow a new one. 

Here's the latest since I wrote early last week:
  • I'm actually becoming sort of attached to my friend, Boot - sort of like a barnacle on a whale; an attachment I can't get rid of (like when my son Ryan was two and was a permanent fixture to my left leg - try to shake him off for a microsecond to take a shower and the universe practically exploded).  Boot's a major pain in the ass to drag around all day but when I take her off, I feel sort of ...naked!
  • Diagnostic testing last Tuesday (really, only a week and a half ago?  Could have sworn it's been months) showed no rupture of the facia.  I was shocked, actually.
  • Diagnostic tests showed an insane amount of swelling prompting Dr. Dreamy podiatrist to believe I have a "severe acute case of plantar faciitis with a possibly a heel contusion (heel bruise)."
  • I GET to go to physical therapy now. For how long?   Who knows.  Mr. PT-man initially thought he could "cure" me in 5-8 visits.
  • 5-8 visits has now been extended to maybe 10... or hell, "let's not focus on a number right now, Jill...."
  • Ever hear of Sever's disease?  No?  Me either - and trust me when I say I've I've spent hundreds of hours researching this dang heel, I thought I knew every possible heel pain ailments known to mankind.  But this Sever's disease is what PT-man thinks I also have a case of, despite it being more predominate in growing children.  Ok, sure, why not - I'll add it to the growing list!  In the course of 2 months, I've been diagnosed with: Plantar Faciitis, Achilles Tendinitis, a heel contusion, a heel periosteum, bursitis, and probably an ingrown toenail for all I know.  We may as well add Sever's disease (click on link if this is something you absolutely cannot sleep tonight without knowing more about it).
In my opinion, and let's face it, I'm really the only one who is fully aware of the split personalities this crabby heel has had in the past 18 months, I think I have a very bad case of Plantar Faciitis with a whole bunch of other garbage thrown in there.  How's that for a diagnosis?!?  I wonder if I'm adapting to this heel fiasco, though - when I am now asked why I'm sporting a beautiful boot on my foot as I hobble down the school hallways, I simply state, "My heel is sick" and leave it at that.  At one time, that sentence contained a lot of expletives.

So here's what Mr. PT-man is doing for me:
  • Dry Needling the heel.  This is a hypodermic needle stuck in a few places in my heel and ankle to get a muscle or tendon to react and reduce the swelling.  If you google this procedure (more reading material for you sleepless souls), all will state it does not hurt.  They LIE!  OMfreakingG that HURT!  Tara told me her Chiro told her if the needle doesn't hurt, it's not working.  If this is true, then I should be cured by tomorrow!
  • Ultrasound shockwave therapy.  Ultrasonic waves are emitted into my heel through these metal probes.  10 minutes of this.  It doesn't really hurt at first, but it sure as heck isn't pleasant, and then it turns painful the last minute.  My foot actually starts spazzing badly and I almost kicked the PT guy in the face.
  • Massage.  The only non-torture treatment.  Ahhh, feels so good!
  • Lots of eye-rolling at my incessant questioning.

And this is what I get to do everyday:
  • Do not run.
  • Continue to wear the Boot.
  • Eat heavy amounts of chocolate all day!
  • Large band exercises a few times per day.
  • Direct ice 3 times per day for about 3 minutes.
  • Whine as much as I want!  But mostly to myself.  And anyone who sends me an email and asks me how it's going.
So that's been my week.  Jealous, I'm certain!

A few running questions I had for Mr. PT-man yesterday:
Me: I'm suppose to run this little race in a tad over 4 weeks.
PT-man: How little? (I'm stunned he forgot this, I only mentioned it 30 times on our first visit).
Me: Um, only 26 miles.  Maybe add .2 miles on to that, but sometimes those courses aren't exact...and you do know that Garmin's are not 100% accurate, right?
PT-man: (eye roll.  See above).  I really don't think it's a wise decision to run (lots of questions about marathon inserted here).
Me: (Sad face).  Ok...blah, blah, blah ...I'm so out of shape anyway, but I was suppose to meet friends, blah blah blah....but ok, that's that.  btw, next week is registration for the Pikes Peak Marathon.  It's in August.  Can I sign up?  It will sell out within an hour, I need to be certain ... not running Skyline next month is race #4 now where I have had to eat the cost of a race entry fee.
PT-man: August?  (pause)  (more pausing)  August is doable.
Me: (smiling)  I need to train over the summer, you know?!
PT-man: Training is over-rated (smiles).

So, Skyline is out *sigh*. 

But it appears I may have a future which includes my running shoes.  Positive potential on the path in front of me is good news!

My heel has been so moody the past week that honestly I really don't even want to do Skyline for fear that any tiny amount of progress I may be making could potentially set me back.  The thought scares me to death.  This has not been easy.  I've been running for a bit over 35 years now, how do you take something that's been such an important part my life and suddenly come to a screeching halt?  You adapt, that's what you do - and I'm doing the best I can do.

So I'm not going to post anymore exclusive heel posts, unless something drastic warrants it, but I will keep you briefly updated.  No, no more down-ness!!!! 

Instead, I'll fill this blog with all the biking (oh baby have I been biking - lots to share there, and lots of questions for you!!), swimming, website developing, coaching, and my massive Tempo short collection - a sight you truly do not want to miss.

Here's a parting shot of Tara and I at the gym yesterday - two peas in a pod (yes she does still exist, in fact she even posted yesterday - go check out her progress)!
Have a great weekend, friends.  It was 73 degrees here in Denver yesterday....kills me not to be out in this gorgeous weather running, but it's ok, I got a bike and I got PT-man fixing me up, and I am healing (fingers crossed).


misszippy said...

I just shot you an email asking about the dry needling! I think you are on the right track. Your shockwave treatment is different than mine was. Mine was under sedation and lasted 20 minutes. One shot deal.

Anyhow..I admire your tenacity. It will pay off for you!

Jamoosh said...

Can't you just get a bionic foot?

Julie said...

ugg. Sorry you still don't have a precise answer to what ails your poor foot.

73 in Denver yesterday?? Woot! Send some of that my way! I am so ready for some sunshine.

Would love to hear more about your biking and swimming and all that you are doing. In fact, anything you happen to do in the sun - I'm ready for it!

Mamarunsbarefoot said...

Holy hell Jill! I thought I had been in misery. I have had injuries with zero answers and docs shaking heads. No more complaining from me. I hope I get to see you in May so I can give you a huge hug! I'm hoping and praying that you heal up soo soon! Uh the needles.. that FREAKS ME OUT!!!!!!


C2Iowa said...

Ain't found a way to kill me yet
Eyes burn with stinging sweat
Seems every path leads me to nowhere...

It appears to me that your on the right path to getting this thing fixed and behind you. It bites about losing #4 - before you know it - you will be back with a vengeance.

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

Bike your ass off, lots of intervals and when it's the right time to run again, you will have superior fitness built up. You'll be back to a high level of run fitness before you know it.

Jennifer said...

Ride like the wind!!! What about deep water running? No heal issues there and kept my ass in shape when I was out for 6 weeks. Cheers and love you Jilly!

Johann said...

Thanks for all the reading material, but unfortunately I sleep like a dog every night and will have to pass on that. Wow, sounds a lot like "don't know at all what you have" disease. Take care and may the heel gods be with you.

Liz said...

I really feel for you. I've been struggling with PF for 6 months, and if I could cut my foot off and replace it with one that works, I would. Good luck.

Christi said...

I am doing a group bike ride this weekend. Sunday at 1030 for about 2 hours. Would you like to come join us? If so just shoot me an email. And if not this time then sometime soon because we really need to train your ass off for the Pikes Peak Ascent because I am thinking positive! Seriously, let's get together!

Christi said...

Oh yeah, one more thing. I love the calf muscle that is totally popping in your new blog pic! Sweet!

racing dawn said...

That dang heel. I'd be cursing by now for sure... :(
And I'm disappointed no Skyline...I was hoping to meet! Sure you don't want to come anyways??? Santa Cruz will be great... :) A little beach getaway just might be the cure!
Hope all the therapies help!!!

Morgan said...

I wish I could give you a hug. For reals... Eventually this HAS to pass!!!

marathonmaiden said...

well....yay massage? :)

i'm so impressed with how you're handling everything. obviously it must be really tough but you'll get through it!

Anonymous said...

Well Dear you are weating a helmet when you bike! Yes! Meg from Iowa

Tara said...

Hey sweetie, you forgot to add shoulder tendonitis from swimming and eye pain from knitting to your list.
Yes, you and I are two peas in a pod with multiple crap wrong with us. BUT we are both going to beat whatever the hell it is that is wrong with us and be running this time next year.
Please don't get used to boot. When we are done with boot and brace, we are going to burn them somewhere (and probably be arrested because of some burn ban, but we'll worry 'bout that later.


Christy said...

Ouch I'm so sorry all of that's going on! At least PT man thinks you'll be running by August!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Wow, that just sucks

I guess hell is freezing over, pigs are flying out butts, money grows on trees because we are doing a tri relay and YOUR biking and I am gonna do the RUN!!!! the sky is falling!!!

Nitmos said...

My son has adolescent Sever's. Enflamed by the soccer cleats. Good luck!

Molly said...

how did I know before even reading that was a photo of you and Tara??

Sorry about skyline, but maybe a triathlon is in your future!!

Happy Weekend to you and Boot! : )

Kate said...

Booooo...except for the massage part. Even that, though, would probably have me kicking the PT because I'm so ticklish.

Stinks that you're missing S2S...that seems to be a theme. :( Hopefully all the care you're getting does the trick and gets you back running.

I can't wait to hear about all your biking. And 73 degrees...sigh. At least we've got nearly 50 and sunny. I'll try and be happy with that.

Teamarcia said...

Yea i agree, growing a new one would probably be easier. But it looks like there's an elaborate plan and I'm remaining hopeful for you andPikes Peak and all that comes after. Running WILL still be there for you when you're all fixed up! Hugs!

Abby @ Have Dental Floss, Will Travel said...

Blah... Really, just blah...

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

1. Your boot is much smaller than my honking one was. Jealous.
2. I loved the ultrasound and massage of my PF. Made my other foot jealous.
3. I told my PT about the dry needling for the PF and she was like I've never heard of it.
4. I told the Dr about the dry needling for ITBS and he was like huh?
5. Is Dry Needling only every where else but the midwest?

Good luck for August!

funderson said...

Stupid FEET!! Who needs them? Oh...yeah...right...runners do I suppose....

ShutUpandRun said...

I did dry needling this week too. Ouch!

Glad you are moving forward, getting answers, doing things to be back where you want to be!! You and Tara are peas in a pod for sure.

ajh said...

It is time for that heel to wake up smell the coffee and move on. Damn! That treatment sounds like no fun at all. Wouldn't it be nice if someone knew what it was for sure? Don't stop whining. You deserve to. And uncross that eat all the chocolate I want. Do that too.
I am in DC with EM. Last time I was here I was dying just walking around. This time I can run! I can race! What a difference. I am always so worried it will stop though but so far so good.
Hang in there. I'm thinking of you a lot girl wanting you to get back out there.
Hugs - lots of them

Adam said...

I'm with Jamoosh. If we can invent a machine that microwaves my food warm in 30 seconds, we should be able to build you a robot foot.

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

Hahaha @ Jamoosh and Adam!

Welcome to March! I am thinking of you and hoping that all these treatments contribute to a healthy heal again. So glad "your future is so bright you have to wear shades", er, running shoes!!

Rose said...

Here's what you need to do: Find a transporter machine, and use it at the same time a lizard uses it. Then, you could saw off your foot, and your new lizard DNA would help you grow a new one. Problem solved!

And I live in California (Los Angeles, to be more specific). Which is how I get away with running around in short sleeves all the time.

Irene said...

Wow, don't you feel attended to? I'm glad you're at least enjoying the foot massage. :) I hope everything you're doing helps.

Boot? I called mine Frankenstein.

Why is chocolate crossed off the list? Isn't that a cure all for everything?

Be well!

Caroline said...

this sucks
you should still go to S2S and coach the others!!!

AM-GoalsfortheWeek! said...

Hi there!
Happy Friday;-)

I have that boot!;-) But I gave it the boot a few mo's ago. I was OVER it...the way your currently feeling;-)

I know this may sound weird but...have you read Born to Run yet? I'm on a kick with it and it's got me thinkin'...but I'm only 3/4th thru it tho at the moment
oh! and I've found biking really helps my foot.

Here's to having healthy feet soon for us all!!;-)

DRog said...


what a process

hang in there
sucks so big time on race entry numero 4

I continue to be amazed and pleased with some hope and optimism in your tone and the potential "positive path" in front of you

be well !!!


Happy Feet 26.2 said...

crap! I'm ready for Jill to be back at the races!

Anne said...

That sucks big time...can't wait to hear about all the progress you'll be making in the near future!

Yay for biking...I know this is really hard for you, but you have a great attitude. You are awesome!

Aimee said...

Oh Jill, I am so sorry about all of this! I can't even imagine how frustrating it must be not to really know what is causing all of your problems. I really hope you find some answers too!
Umm...dry thanks! Ouch!!

XLMIC said...

This is such a total drag! Except the part about that there seems to be some progress. I really hope you are able to make Boot obsolete soon :) After reading Beth's post and now yours about dry needling, I am very intrigued. Need to ask my PT about this!

Have a great weekend :)

Tim said...

I had really bad PT about 5 years ago. Are they going to do the "Grafton" technique? That's where they take this stainless steel blade (not sharp) and grind it into your heal until you scream. It's horrible and feels awesome at the same time. He kept saying it was "breaking up the scar tissue."

I think you're on the right track now. I felt you weren't before with the last guy, when he told you to go run in just a few days. Hang in there.

Bubble Boy said...

Could you at least get a boot for the other foot? I know how mucn you like boots and at least you could make a fashion statement until you can run again. It would also stop all the questions about what is wrong with your foot. Get better very soon!
Bubble Boy

Tim said...

I just looked at my racing log. When I had PT in 2005, I took a full 7 months off between races (Chicago Marathon and Flying Pig Half Marathon). Well, there was one 5 mile race in there at about month #5.

It all passes, eventually. Sucks while it's happening though. I'm hurt now (first time since the PT thing in 2005) and don't know if I'll ever really run again. Hopefully I will and then think I was just being pessimistic now.

Meg said...

So you decided to do the shock wave therapy? I was so interested in that and what's the difference between dry needling and acupuncture? You sure are being well-treated with all of the angles being addressed!

You WILL come out of this and be strong once again, I just know it.

So sad we won't see you in the spring but you're right, the water is still chilly!

Big hugs!

Chris K said...

So you feel naked without Booty. You should post a pic of that (you being naked). Yeah, you've got everything but the kitchen sink.

I'm with Meg, you are gonna so lick this thing.

So, no S2S. Not a surprise. Are you still coming out though?

HappyTrails said...

Waaay too much crap being caused by that foot. Too bad you can't just swap it out for a bionic one or something :-) Nice photo at the gym - er, um, triage ward maybe.... Have a great weekend with this awesome weather and ride lost o' miles!!!!

Jenn said...

Dry Needling? That just sounds dirty Jill!

Bummer about Skyline. Just love throwing those race fees out the window....Smart decision on your part though. I really think intuition speaks pretty loudly and if you feel that it could even slightly set you back....Sure hope things improve for you!!

I want the Tempo shorts post-ha! I have updated my collection of shorts to add a slight touch of color like charcoal gray now. My hubby bought me a yellow/gray plaid pair of Lulu shorts now too. Oh so stylin'!!!

Hope you have a great weekend Jill:)

Black Knight said...

I am very sorry, I hope that you can solve this problem as soon as possible.
Don't surrender, try with another sport until the day you decide to come back to run.

Small Town Runner said...

At least you have a PT with a (sick) sense of humor! =D

OK...moving on mentally..bring on PIKE's Peak!

Marlene said...

Fingers crossed over here too! You have really been through the ringer with this heel of yours.

Glad you are in good hands. I just hope it works!!! AND SOON!

Terri said...

Ouch, ouch, ouch! :( Sending healing thoughts!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I'm glad you are getting treatment even though the needles sound terrible. Glad that you have a race to look forward to. Positive thought might work it's way down to the cranky heel. Until then enjoy biking!

lindsay said...

boots mcgee!

i would also like to think you have bad pf and because of the pain from that you 'altered' how you walked/etc and that has just in general cause problems in that area. hopefully you can kick the pf to the curb and retrain your foot to act normal and all will be good! no more random 'condition' diagnosis.

so what does that mean for pp? i still don't really get his answer haha. does pp fill up? could we maybe wait to register? or i have to enter a lottery anyway don't i...

Anne said...

At least you're getting to know your body a lot better, which will benefit you later on. I've always said, "Ignore the pain" is the worst advice to give a runner. Your odyssey is the reason why. Keep up that PT and needling.

termite said...

;-( damn. i hate this for you. the only good is the foot massage. ;D
soon, you'll be back! i'm sure of it.


Running and living said...

Man, Jill, this outta be hard, trying all these treatments, and none really working. Hrrr!!! Just be careful, please! Part of my work is pain management; I work with surgeons and PTs and so many of the treatments they do (like dry needling, sorry!) are not backed up by research...sometimes I feel like we are going back centuries ago when we used to do blood letting. I hope you don't take this the wrong way, I completely understand how difficult this is. This, too will pass. PF goes through waves - my husband has it, and he has good months and bad months with no particular triggers...

Anonymous said...

We'll find a cure for PF, market it and become Rich.

Winning Duhhhh :o)

Velma said...


Jesse - Run To The Border said...

I like Tara's comment about burning the boot later on. Sounds like a great plan! Hope the dry-needling works - I'd never heard of such a thing before.

shana said...

aaawwww...your matching braces are so cute.
Darn heel. I like how you keep at it. You're a tough gal.

Chris K said...

You just won for the shortest comment ever on my Blog. Sheesh, you write novels on everyone else's. I guess I've been demoted to B status.

I'm kidding you.

trailturtle said...

Sorry about S2S. I signed up for PP Ascent today. Are you doing it or the marathon still? Best wishes, Ann

Andrew Opala said...

Did you ever think you and Tara might be zombies, and you need to start eating brains?

Maybe that's what you're missing?

Sorry about the drama. I don't like Chiros PTs or Drs for that matter (only massage therapists!)

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

a lot of accupuncture does not hurt, but specific places where you have inflammation..well that shiznit is not fun at all.

i'm so sorry this is going on much longer than you hoped. but you are being such a great model for all of us on how to stay healthy during the down time

elaine said...

What can I do to get email updates when you update your blog? Sadly, I have missed way too much...

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